How to Remove Harmful Chemicals From Your Body Through Detoxification


In the USA, an estimated 2000 new chemicals are introduced into foods and consumer products every year, many of which have not been tested for negative health effects1. How your body gets rid of a substance depends on the particular chemical2. The liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal system, skin, and lungs all play a role in helping your body get rid of unwanted substances3.

Foreign chemicals that are not easily removed by the body include POPS (persistent organic pollutants) and some metals. Studies on POPs have linked them with endocrine disruption, cardiovascular disease, neurological and developmental defects, metabolic diseases, and cancer. The USA, EU, and Australia have been steadily banning POPs since the 1970s4,5,6. The levels of POPs in the ecosystem have been gradually declining since their prohibition, but they have not been completely eradicated7. Currently, there is no scientific consensus as to whether current exposure levels to POPs are detrimental to human health8, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

POPs are just one of many chemicals out there that could be bad for your health. This information is not meant to scare you, but to educate and inform you.

Choosing healthy, natural foods can help you remove toxins from your body, improve your overall health, and balance your energy.

Certain foods and nutritional components have been scientifically proven to help you detoxify your body along with many other health benefits. Detoxification is the body’s way of getting rid of foreign molecules that we pick up from the air we breathe, food and water we consume, and medications we take, as well as toxins the body generates in normal bodily processes. A buildup of toxins not only contributes to poor overall health and low energy, but it may also increase risk of certain diseases, such as obesity and cancer9.

There is scientific evidence that:

  • malic acid (found in grapes and wine)
  • citric acid (found in citrus fruits)
  • succinic acid (found in apples and blueberries)
  • citrus pectin (found in the peel and pulp of citrus fruits)
  • chlorella (a type of green algae)

have natural chelating properties, meaning they can be useful for the elimination of toxic metals10,11,12,13,14,15.


Citric and succinic acid help reduce aluminum levels in the bones (which are the main storage sites of aluminum)10. Chlorella is a unicellular green alga that has been shown to assist with metal detoxification11,12,13,14,15. It has also been shown to eliminate some POPs16,17,18.

Eating cruciferous vegetables can help with detoxification. Cruciferous vegetables – such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage19– can help increase glutathione levels. Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in our bodies, and it’s profoundly involved in detoxification9. Cruciferous vegetables are also important sources of phytonutrients and important dietary sources of many essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E. These phytonutrients help maintain cellular redox balance using phase II detoxification and antioxidant enzymes19. Increasing consumption of cruciferous vegetables has been associated with a decreased risk of several degenerative and chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease20,21,22,23,24,25,26 and certain cancers27,28,29,30,31,32,33.


Commercial detox diets rarely identify the specific toxins they aim to remove or how they remove those toxins, making it very difficult to investigate their claims34. According to WebMD, the only type of detox diet that is worthwhile is one that limits processed, high-fat, and sugary foods, and replaces them with more whole foods like fruits and vegetables35. According to Sheila Dean, Dsc, Rd, you don’t necessarily need a special detox diet – everyone benefits from supporting the body’s detoxification processes through good nutrition9. According to Marsha McCulloch, RD, you should avoid detox plans that eliminate most food groups, especially for more than a few days. Nutrient deficiencies can interfere with detoxification and can starve out helpful gut bacteria9.

Here are some of McCulloch’s recommendations on what to eat for natural detox support:

  • Whole organic foods – the fewer chemicals you take in from pesticides, chemical additives, and other food contaminants, the less your liver has to detoxify
  • Garlic and onions – these and other allium family vegetables contain phytonutrients that support detoxification
  • Flavonoids – these natural plant nutrients in citrus fruits, berries, and green tea increase the activity of liver detoxification enzymes
  • Fiber – roughage in beans, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts helps reduce absorption of toxins and helps sweep them out through the digestive tract
  • Greens – cruciferous and leafy vegetables contain special components that support detoxification
  • Spices – herbs and spices, such as rosemary, cilantro, and turmeric supply antioxidants and trigger the liver to make more enzymes needed in detoxification
  • Probiotics – foods such as yogurt and kefir that supply beneficial gut bacteria help keep down toxins produced by harmful bacteria
  • Water – water helps flush out toxins through urine and sweat

In short, natural fruits and vegetables are great for helping your body eliminate toxins, and have many other proven health benefits. To easily get 25 servings of fruit and vegetables daily, Master Chunyi Lin recommends Nature’s Qi, a delicious green’s blend that contains more than 40 natural and organic super foods.


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